Blue World tests 200 kW maritime fuel cell system to run on green methanol

With an electrical efficiency of up to 55% when reaching a commercial stage, the fuel cell system will typically provide a fuel saving of 20-30% which enables a cost-efficient use of green fuels.

Denmark based Blue World Technologies has announced the successful testing of the world’s first 200 kW high-temperature PEM fuel cell module. The test was completed at the newly established test facilities in connection to the Blue Aalborg Factory, where the fuel cells for the system are produced. The initial testing has been completed with great results which have exceeded performance expectations.

With an electrical efficiency of up to 55% when reaching a commercial stage, the fuel cell system will typically provide a fuel saving of 20-30% which enables a cost-efficient use of green fuels. Additionally, the fuel cell system allows for up to 100% carbon capture for both utilisation in green fuel production and for storage.

“This is a major breakthrough within maritime decarbonisation and with the test of our 200-kW system, we are proving that the HT PEM fuel cell technology has the potential of being one of the key technologies to decarbonise the hard-to-abate sectors. During the test period, we successfully validated our system setup with the methanol fuel processor, the series connection of the fuel cell stacks, as well as the balance of plant components surrounding the fuel cells”, Dennis Naldal Jensen, Chief Technology Officer at Blue World Technologies explains.

1-MW System for Maersk

The first pilot system is a 1 MW system for onboard power production. The system will be installed on one of A.P. Moller – Maersk’s large dual fuel-enabled methanol vessels and the installation on board is expected during H1 2026.

Anders Korsgaard, CEO at Blue World Technologies, says, “Maersk is the global frontrunner when it comes to maritime decarbonisation, and we are very pleased with the collaboration on the first 1 MW pilot and we are very much looking forward to getting the system out sailing.”

The order for the pilot system was followed by a venture investment by Maersk Growth – the venture arm of A.P. Moller – Maersk – where they at the end of 2023 participated in an 11 million EUR pre-C-round alongside The Export and Investment Fund of Denmark (EIFO), Cycle Group, and other new and existing shareholders. With the great potential of the HT PEM fuel cell technology, they are following the development and test of the system closely:

As an investor in Blue World Technologies, we are pleased to follow the progress of the system development and we share the team’s excitement for the successful testing of the 200-kW fuel cell system. The maritime industry needs multiple new technologies and pathways to reach its net-zero targets, and high-temperature PEM fuel cell technology is very promising in finding a balance between the high electrical efficiency, size, and load adjustment. This is a great example of how we can support innovation through both investment and partnership”, explains Alex Smout, Investment Director at Maersk Growth.

Blue World will initially supply systems for auxiliary power and expects that their maritime system will reach a commercial level in 2027. Eventually, the company will proceed to supply multi-megawatt propulsion systems for global shipping, which is where the fuel cell technology will provide the greatest impact on both the environment and climate.

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